CHFP is a multi-modal and multi-institutional experimental framework for sub-seasonal-to-decadal complete physical climate system prediction. The complete physical climate system includes contributions from the atmosphere, oceans, land surface and cryosphere, in producing regional and sub-seasonal-to-decadal climate anomalies. This experimental framework is based on advances in climate research during the past decade, which have lead to the understanding that models and predictions of a given climate anomaly over any region are incomplete without a proper treatment of the effects of sea surface temperature, sea ice, snow cover, soil wetness, vegetation, stratospheric processes, and atmospheric composition (carbon dioxide, ozone, etc.).

The observed current climate changes are a combination of anthropogenic influences and natural variability. In addition to possible anthropogenic influence on climate due to changing the atmospheric composition, land use in the tropics is undergoing extensive changes. This can lead to significant changes in the biophysical properties of the land surface, in turn impacting atmospheric variability on sub-seasonal-to-decadal timescales. It is therefore essential that the research work of two separate science communities (climate change and seasonal prediction) be merged into a focused effort to understand the predictability of the complete climate system.

The results of these experiments provide a framework for future experiments. Specifically these results will:

  • provide a baseline assessment of our seasonal prediction capabilities using the best available models of the climate system and data for initialisation;
  • provide a framework for assessing of current and planned observing systems, and a test bed for integrating process studies and field campaigns into model improvements;
  • provide an experimental framework for focused research on how various components of the climate system interact and affect one another; and
  • provide a test bed for evaluating IPCC class models in seasonal prediction mode.

 Certain elements of the proposed experiment are already part of various WCRP activities. The intent is to leverage these ongoing activities and to coordinate and synthesize these activities into a focused seasonal prediction experiment that incorporates all elements of the climate system. These experiments are the first necessary steps in developing seamless weekly-to-decadal prediction of the complete climate system.

NOTE: In 2017 the Working Group on Seasonal to Interannual Prediction (WGSIP) changed its name to the Working Group on Subseasonal to Interdecadal Prediction (WGSIP). Where you see the older name used, it is to preserve the name as used in pre-2017 projects.